Our view

Our view

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Puppy Update

As you know a few weeks ago we were surprised to hear that our daughter Carrie's dog had puppies.  They did not suspect she was even pregnant.  Well she ended up having 9 puppies and they are all doing well and so is the mom Harley.  The puppies are growing and are starting to really move around now so my daughter Jenny bought a pen for the puppies to be in so they don't wander around or get hurt. Carrie has said when they have the puppies on the living room floor that they like to wander and one got under the sofa.  Now with the pen the puppies can wander and Carrie doesn't have to watch them all like a hawk.  All but one or two puppies have been spoken for so that is good.  They are so cute and I get to seen them in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good Bye Kiwi

In the middle of the orchard is a gazebo with add trellises that supported the Kiwi that was planted.  It is not traditional kiwi but a form of it but it never did fruit and after several years of not getting fruit George decided to take it down.  Since the kiwi was going so were the trellises.  By removing the Kiwi and the trellises he is taking care of a few issues.  The area around the gardens will now be able to easily be mowed and it will give more light and make it easier to get around the garden.  The wood from the trellises will be saved to be used for other things on the farm.  It was not a fun job but Tim and George did a great job.  Way to go guys!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Glitter Is Messy!

I have created an on going mess even though it has been two weeks since I have touch the stuff that created the mess.  The culprit...glitter!  When I started to get my Crafty Cottage reorganized I came across a bunch of glitter paper scraps.  I save the scraps from the glitter paper I am working with for one main reason; it is expensive.  One 12inch by 12 inch piece of glitter paper costs $2.00 so I try not to waste any.  It you have ever worked with glitter paper it is like working with glitter because it gets all over just by touching it. Well the scraps of glitter paper were getting out of hand so I decided to use the scraps and my small punches and created a bunch of stars, hearts and bows that I can use on future projects. I felt like I had accomplished something until I looked at the mess I created with the glitter from the paper.  I am still cleaning up as it sticks to EVERY surface.  Oh well, at least it gives me a sparkling personality!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

No Contest For Pickles

Last Saturday night, while we were grilling out and enjoying the beautiful weather and view, I brought out the jar of pickles I had purchased while we were visiting Boerne, TX.  I visited Miss Pickle and tasted and chatted with her about pickles while in Boerne.  I introduced myself as one of the self proclaimed Pickle Queens of Tennessee or at least Francisco Farm.  I purchased a jar to bring back to the farm so that George, Lisa and Travis could try Miss Pickles pickles.  After our taste test there was no comparison at all.  The Pickles Queens win!  Miss Pickle, we tasted a pickle then tasted ours and we are sorry to inform you but in eastern Tennessee your pickles lose.  We, the Pickle Queens, can hold our heads high and know that we have the best pickle at Francisco Farm. Way to go Pickle Queens!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Creating Or Playing?

With the Crafty Cottage being all cleaned up and organized again it was time for me to either create or play.or both.  My sister was so sweet and surprised me with a package of goodies; a new stamp set, dies set to go with the stamp set, washi tape and glitter paper.  It was a set I wanted to borrow to make cards but now I have my own; Thanks Pam!  So I decided to make an Easter picture using the set.  It turned out pretty cute and I had a lot of fun creating it.  It is all my own design and idea and it turned out so well that I created a different one.  I will be making a few Easter cards with the set too.  So I was creating and playing yesterday in my clean and well organized Crafty Cottage!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Crafty Cottage Is Done

After almost a week of working in the Crafty Cottage getting it reorganized and cleaned up I am happy to say that I have finished. I went through every box, crate, drawer, shelf and basket.  I was able to let lots of stamps go especially the ones I have not even touched in over two years.  This was the second stamp purge for; the first one was when I was setting up the Crafty Cottage.  I donated the stamps and other craft items to Good Will so that they will hopefully be purchased and used again.  With the Cfafty Cottage being cleaned up and organized now not only do I know where everything is but I have more room for new things if and when I start or do something new.  Right now, it is nice to have more room and  I can get back to creating!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trucks And Truck Parts

I am wondering if Tim and George have been dreaming about trucks and truck parts because they have had a week long "truck part thing".  It started with the new truck George purchased a week ago and getting his old truck ready to sell; which he sold yesterday.  They were moving good parts off the old truck on to the new truck then they did a few repairs on the old truck.  George ordered some parts for the new truck and when they arrived they put them on.  Yesterday was a long day with the dump truck.  While we were gone George picked up another dump truck to use for parts for his first dump truck.  Tim and George started working on the dump truck yesterday and after spending a couple of hours getting the some parts off the truck they discovered that one of the axles was broken.  Had either one of the them tried to pull out the axles all together then that broken axle discovery would of been sooner and less work.  The good thing is they took an axle from the parts truck and fixed the dump truck.  They still have a little more work to finish on the dump truck before it will run.  It truly was a week of trucks and truck parts.  Update on the Crafty Cottage...it is almost done!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Not Every New Recipe Is Good

I tried a new recipe last night for dinner and even though it smelled good cooking All Day Long!  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked and sounded easy to do and it pretty much was.  I did half the recipe because I only had two chicken breasts and 1/2 a bag of noodles.  Anyway, here it is:
Chicken Noodles Slow Cooker Meal - Just four ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, 2 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 bag of egg noodles. 
Instructions: Place chicken in slow cooker, pour soup and broth on top.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.  Take chicken out, shred it and return to slow cooker. Add noodles and stir.  Cook for another 30 minutes or until noodles are cooked.  Stir, serve and enjoy!
If you try it let me know how it turned out!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Library Card

As A kid I remember getting my first library card and how it was one of the biggest moments, at the time.  Getting a library card when you were 8 years old was like getting a credit card to reading.  With my own card I could go the public library, pick out any book I want, check it out, take it home and then read it.  When I was done, or when it was due, all I had to do is return it. That was a big deal in a kid's life.  The Glenview Public Library was a mile and half from our house, about a 1/2 hour walk or a 10 minute bike ride.  Everyday during the summer months I would walk or ride my bike to the library and take part in the summer reading program.  I used the library a lot when I was growing up because it was also a good meeting place.  Yesterday, I got my library card to the Parrottsville Library. It a small library but does have a good selection of books and it is close to home.  I am not a huge  reader but I do enjoy reading and hopefully I will begin to read more often now that I have a library card.  I did check out a book, " The Whistler" by John Grisham.  He is one of my favorite authors.  In a way, I feel like a kid again!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crafty Cottage Update

As you know from yesterday's blog I have been working on reorganizing my Crafty Cottage.  It has needed it for a while, especially the loft, but I just have not had the time.  Well, this week I do have the time and since the weather is going to be nice it is the perfect time to get it done.  On Monday I worked on making space on my shelves but nothing permanent as I knew the loft was going to be the big issue.  Well, yesterday I spent all day in the Crafty Cottage and managed to completely removed everything from the loft.  I created a huge mess both inside and outside the Crafty Cottage but by the end of the day the loft is empty and Tim foamed some openings to stop bugs from coming in, I went through every box and container that was up in the loft and I am donating about 10 boxes of stamps, inks, ribbon, paper, scrapbook paper, etc. to Goodwill today.  I should have done this 2 years ago but I had to prove to myself that I did not need any of the items I am donating.  I also created a lot of garbage that will go to the dump today.  Thank you Tim for your help!  Check back for more progress tomorrow as I will get back to the Crafty Cottage this afternoon.  It is time to Bowl now!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Cleaning In The Crafty Cottage

It is Spring Cleaning time again now that it is Spring and this year the Crafty Cottage gets it.  I have kept it clean and somewhat organized, but there are areas that need to be cleaned up and out.  I have been just placing things on my shelves and some stuff I only use once a year.  Then there is this little clutter area called The Loft.  My loft is a disaster and it is time for me to really look at everything up there and purge what I have not touched in the two years that is has been up there.  I know there are a lot of stamps and stamp sets that I should just get rid of due to the fact that they have been up there 2 years and I have never even touched them. I may try to Ebay or Craigslist.  There are a lot of other items up there that I need to just let go so the goal is by next Monday the Loft is cleaned out and reorganized along with the Crafty Cottage itself.  I have a week to spare that I do not have anything pressing me to get completed unless Jenny calls and needs supplies for Salted By Jen. So, I guess it is time to get started.  I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...I think I can... Check back and see if I can or did. There will be updates!

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Fun Of Replacing A Toilet

Tim and George had so much fun Saturday replacing a toilet for Travis's RV.  It started off easy enough all they had to do is take out the old toilet and put in the new toilet...so they thought.  The first issue was removing the old toilet.  The way the old toilet was attached was something neither Tim or George had seen.  They had no idea how to get the old toilet out so they did it their way and it worked.  Later Tim checked the internet and found instructions and decided their way was still better than the instructions.  Once the old toilet was off they went to work to get the new toilet installed and only had one small hitch...they had to do it twice.  The first time went well but something wasn't right and after getting it all installed they saw it and uninstalled it just to install it again the right way.  They missed one small step but the second time of installation was great and now Travis has a new "throne"; as my dad use to call the toilet.  Kind of a crappy job but way to go Tim and George.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Went Out To Get A Toilet Came Back With A Truck

On Friday George and Tim took a little journey to buy an RV toilet for Travis's RV.  His toilet was very small so after looking at it and seeing how big our RV toilet was they decided it was time to change it out.  Lisa and I had gone to a movie and when we got out she got a call from George telling her he bought a toilet and a truck!  George had been thinking about upgrading the farm's pick up truck and while they were on the road they came across a Toyota Tundra and stopped to look at it.  Well, that truck was not in good shape but sitting right next to it was a 1995 Chevy truck that had just had a new engine, transmission and other things replaced.  They looked the truck over and decided that it would work well.  So, they went to get a toilet and came back with a truck...and the toilet! 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauty And The Beast

If you liked Disney's animated "Beauty And The Beast" then you have to go see the new live action "Beauty And The Beast" by Disney.  It is really well done and has two new songs that were not in the animated version or Disney's Braodway show.  The actors they chose to portray the chacacters were good.  The movie tells the story well and the sets they chose were pretty amazing.  I was surprised how full the theater was but it does make sense that fans would come on opening day.  Thanks Lisa for coming with me.  It is a great family feel good movie musical.  Go see it!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today everyone is Irish but I just happen to have some Irish blood in me.  St Patrick's Day is a day of celebration and is commemorated with parades and celebrations through out Ireland and the U.S.  Wearing of green or shamrocks to celebrate the day is also a tradition.  St. Patrick was a priest who was made a saint due to his work in Ireland.  He died on March 17th which has become St. Patrick's day.  He is the patron saint of Ireland and made it his mission to convert people to Christanity in Ireland.  It is also said he drove out the snakes in Ireland which would make him my personal hero.  So wear green today, celebrate with some green beer and corn beef and cabbage and just have a good time today; Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

PinBusters In First Place...Again!

The Pinbusters are in first place again.  We cannot win this quarter even if we are number 1 but at least we know we are playing well.  In April, once the bowling league is over for this season, there will be a roll off where the four teams that placed 1st in each quarter bowl against each other.  We won in the second quarter so we are in.  I did get to use my new ball and shoes yesterday and I did pretty good.  I bowled over my average in each game so I was pretty happy.  It feels good to be back bowling in the Coffee League and I only hope I will continue to bowl well.  Go Pinbusters!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Organization On.ACold Day

The weather outside was just plain lovely in a terrible way.  We did not get the snow that we thought we would but the mountains surrounding us sure did.  It is cold outside.  Yesterday is was gray and cloudy all day with a high temperature of 35.  It got into the teens last night and today we will have a high of 35 again.  Sure am glad we escaped winter.  So, what do you do when you are inside and not even wanting to go down to the crafty cottage because of the cold?  You are forced into cleaning up and reorganizing your cabinets.  Over the past 6 months these cabinets have just had things shoved into them to clean up the RV.  I forgot I had put the little Christmas decorations in one so we wouldn't come home to Christmas in March.  Well it took me all day and a large bag of garbage later I have organized cabinets that hopefully will stay that way for a while.  I know it won't but it is fun to dream!  I return to bowling and hopefully the welcoming arms of my team.  Thank you Lisa for subbing while I was gone.  With my new shoes, ball and ball bag let's hope I will be able to knock some pins down! Go Pinbusters!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rory's Flowers

Last week when we were in Florida visiting our kids my daughter Jenny had bought a flower kit for Rory and I to do.  Rory loves making things with Mom and Dad and Grammie and Bumpa so we had fun working with the kit.  The kit came in half an egg carton that included three kind of flower seeds.  There was a dirt disk that we put in water and watched it grow into a mound of dirt mix.  Rory helped with everything from putting the dirt into the egg carton holes to placing the seeds to watering the end result.  She was so excited that she kept going over to the window sill to check it out. Well, she had a big surprise yesterday when the middle holes had sprouts.  The cosmos we planted have sprouted.  The other two, daisies and zinneas, still have another 7 days before we will know if they will sprout.  Jenny said Rory is so excited.  Who knows, next month when we go down to visit we may see some flowers; Rory's flowers.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Love This Camper Gift

Because Tim, Shadow and I live in an RV we do, from time to time, receive gifts that are campers.  Most of the items we receive are ornaments or signs and we love every single item and appreciate the thought behind the gift.  My sister Pam has given us a really cool camper as a gift.  Pam, our friend Pat and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby while I was out in California and we came across this metal camper that has a mess bottom and a little circular door.  It was a camper so of course Pam thought I should have it.  We were trying to figure out what it was for and one of the store associates suggested it was a bird house or feeder.  I guess I could kind of see it but with a mesh bottom?  Then my mind started going and I decided it would make a really cute cork holder.  I was storing my corks from the our wine bottles we were drinking in a glass bowl and thought how cool the camper would be as a cork holder and it would also look great in the RV.  So Pam purchased the camper as a gift and this past week end I put it all together.  Now all I have to do is figure out where to put it in the RV.  Thanks Pam, we love it!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

It Snowed...But Just Flurries

The weather is a tough thing to predict especially here at the farm.  Sometimes I think we have a bubble over us to protect us from the weather.  We did get snow but in the way of flurries and it happened Saturday morning.  I was working in the Crafty Cottage and I looked out the window and it was snowing.  It went on for a couple of hours but there was no accumulation.  That was it for the snow except a few flurries this morning.  The snow ended coming in under us so the mountains got snow but nothing here to speak of.  It is still very cold outside and it looks like that is going to stick around for several days.  See, we do have a bubble over us like in the TV show "The Dome".

Saturday, March 11, 2017

From One Shed To Another

Tim was shed jumping yesterday.  After he finished up the little details in the repair to the valve in our shed and other little leaks that developed while we were gone he jumped over to Travis's shed with George to do the conversion from gas to propane on Travis's dryer.  Tim did our dryer and George and Lisa's dryer so George asked if he would do Travis's too since he had the experience.  There were a couple of trips to Lowes but at the end of the day working in both sheds was completed.  Good thing because the weather has turned cold and we are waiting to see if and when we will get snow.  We are finally settling back into our routines here at the farm.  Check back on the snow tomorrow!

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Fun Things We Do When We Return

On our first day back at the farm Tim and I both had a very busy day however Tim was extremely busy.  Last week while we were on the road and heading for the farm we got a call from George that our shed flooded.  George fixed and cleaned up the shed, thanks again George, but Tim was going to have to fix the broken valve so we can have water in the shed and RV.  He started what he hoped would be short job into a 3 hour job in the shed then having to deal with some leaks under the RV too.  We lost our water heater for the RV but we don't use it since we have an external one.  Tim worked all day and into the night to get everything taken care of.  There is still some more to do.  I had the joy of grocery shopping, thanks Lisa for driving since Tim needed the car, since we had nothing in the house to eat.  Actually that is not a fair statement because we had the food that was frozen in the freezer and pop tarts.  Oh wait, this is called the fun things we do when we return...hmmm...that would be having friends that help you and getting caught up with everything.  That was fun but that was about it.  So, the best way to make yesterday pleasant?  Look at the flowering trees in the orchard!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

We Are Back And On Weather Watch

We are back at the farm and our Escaping Winter journey has ended.  We came home to blossoming trees and daffodils but also the reality that winter is not over just because we are back at the farm.  Saturday night/Sunday morning not only do we set our clocks ahead an hour and Spring ahead but we may be doing it with 3 to 6 inches of snow on the ground.  I know, the jokes on us.  We were welcomed home by Lisa, George and Travis and the dogs, Roxie, Nix and Gaia.  Lisa made a great dinner, Hawaiian Meatballs...Yum and we had some wine with dinner and a toast to us being together again at the farm.  Thank you Lisa, George and Travis for our welcome home.  So, with the threat of snow upon us we are ready for it because we just enjoyed a great journey where we spent time with family and friends, visited some new sights and got to enjoy more of our great country.  For a wrap up of our "Escaping Winter" journey check out my Travels With Ruth blog tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Escaping Winter Is Coming To The End

Tim and I started our Escaping Winter Journey Dec 22 when we left the farm to spend Christmas and New Years in Florida.  From there we headed west and spent 7 weeks in California.  Today we are completing our last leg and returning to the farm.  It is hard to believe have been gone as long as we have and that "escaping winter" may not have been necessary this Winter but we still enjoyed our travels and spending time with family and friends.  It will be hard saying good bye to Rory after only getting to spend just a couple of days with her but we will be back next month.  Thanks again to all who made our journey so successful and fun.  Francisco Farm, here we come!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I'm A Great Grandmother

Last night we had a family dinner with my whole family.  We went to Freddy's Steakburgers and it was delicious.  We even had a special deal that if Rory ate all of her dinner we all got Ice Cream.  Guess what?  Rory did eat her dinner and we all got ice cream!  At dinner my daughter Carrie made a special announcement that her dog Harley surprised them with puppies.  They did not have a clue that she was going to have puppies so when they got home from work they had a surprise in their closet.  Harley is a Sheppard/Lab mix and had 7 puppies; 2 females and 5 males.  The father is a Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix.  So needless to say the puppies are going to be interesting.  I can't wait to see them.  I wonder if they will be small like the dad or medium like the mom. I guess we just have to wait and see.  I just received a text from Carrie that two more puppies were born to make 9 in all.

Monday, March 6, 2017

I Got My Rory

After our long drive today and getting into Middleburg a little later than originally planned we were reunited with our Rory.  Tim walked in first and said Hi and I followed.  What a great feeling it is when your little granddaughter comes running to you and jumps into your arms.  I will remember that moment for a very long time.  From then on we were inseperatable until she had to go to bed.  We played in her room, read story books built towers with her Legos and just had a great time being together.  I got her ready for bed, brushed her teeth and made sure she went potty one more time.  This is going to be a big week for her because she is moving up to the 3 year old classroom even though she is not 3 yet.  I cannot get over her vocabulary.  She is really talking well and astounds me with what she has to say.  I am pretty sure she is 2 1/2 going on 5 or 6.  I only get a couple of days with her before I leave so I am planning on making the most with them. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Family Week end For All

We had a great day with Mom C and Jim in the Victoria/Goliad area of Texas.  We met up there and spent the day sight seeing and just having fun being together again.  We will be with more family today as we make our second to last leg of the returning from Escaping Winter journey to Middleburg , FL to see our kids!  We have not seen them since New Years and we are looking forward to being together for a couple of days before heading up to the farm.
While we were with our family George and Lisa have been having a great week end with their kids.  Yesterday they made their way to the Farmer's Daughter for lunch where you go in hungry but you come out FULL!  It was a good family Saturday, thanks Mom C and Jim and now onto family Sunday!  Rory, we will be there soon! 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I watched the movie "Loving" just before the Oscars and it was very good.  A bit slow in parts but over all very good.  "Loving" is about the interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who got married in Virginia in 1958 when interracial marriages were illegal.  The movie was based on this true story.  They went to court several times but in 1967 they won the U.S. Supreme court decision that invalidated state laws about interracial marriage.  Ruth Negga was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Mildred Loving.  If you get a chance I would say definitely watch it but know that it is a bit slow. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Long Family Week End At The Farm

It is a long family week end at the farm for the Francisco family.  Their daughter Kaitlyn came for a visit and that means just one thing; it is going to be a busy week end.  So what did the family do yesterday?  They went wine tasting and quoting Kaitlyn she had a wonderful time!  There are several wineries in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and there is a wine tour to follow.  It is a lot of fun, or so I have heard since I have not been priveledged enough to go with them.  Enjoy your week end Francisco family!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mailbox Decor Part 2

Just the other day while Lisa was going into town she discovered that someone, probably Linda, left a new decoration at the mail boxes.  Around each of the Mailbox's post, at the bottom, were about 6 to 7 plastic eggs.  We now have a flower and some eggs.  The mailboxes are looking more festive with each passing day.  Thanks Linda and thanks Lisa for sharing the news.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Shed Is Calling Us Home

Early yesterday morning we got a text from George saying he was returning some tools to our shed and discovered it was flooded.  Since the water was off in the shed Tim knew exactly what it was and told George that it was a valve that is leaking.  George was kind enough to remove any items that were on the shed floor then got rid of the water.  He then removed the the pex and sure enough it was the valve.  He fixed the leak by replacing the Pex and capped it off until we return back to the farm where Tim's first job will be to repair the valve so we can have water again.  Thank you George for taking care of our misbehaving shed.  We see you in a week!